BMW i8 Overview
With science-fiction inspired styling, complete with traffic-stopping swan-wing doors, the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 is so refreshing that a quick walk around and the briefest test drive are enough to make you wonder if you just experienced the future of the automobile.
Amazingly, BMW’s futuristic super-hybrid is also reminiscent of the brand’s brilliant late-1970s and early-1980s M1 supercar, illustrating how the company’s future is firmly grounded in the past.
Powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and a duo of electric motors, the BMW i8 produces 357 horsepower and a whopping 420 pound-feet of torque. The all-wheel drive i8 actually has two transmissions, including a six-speed automatic for the gas engine and a two-speed automatic transmission for the electric motors. BMW’s hybrid accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in only 4.2 seconds, although independent outlets have reported times as brief as 3.6 seconds. The i8 has an electronically limited maximum speed of 155 mph.
The sport-tuned suspension, ultra-precise steering, and powerful braking combine with the i8’s revolutionary lightweight carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic and aluminum structure to provide enthusiast-pleasing driving dynamics that few can equal. In simple terms, the i8 drives as great as it looks.
Fuel economy is also surprising considering the blistering performance and raucous exhaust. The 2016 BMW i8 achieves 28 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. When used as a plug-in hybrid with eDrive, the i8 achieves a 76 mpg-equivalent. The i8 has an electric-only range of 23 miles and takes about two and a half hours to fully charge at a level 2 charging station, which can also be installed at your home.
The futuristic BMW i8 features an imaginative interior that includes an instrument panel that appears to have been modeled from a space ship in a time travel movie. The entire cabin embodies the concept of futuristic sport-inspired luxury. The front seating is comfortable and roomy. While the rear seats are tight and difficult to access, it will be difficult to find people who will let that keep them from wanting to ride around in them.